With any condition, home care is an important part of the treatment and recovery process. Minor modifications made at work, whether that’s adjusting the height of a monitor, positioning of the keyboard, using a chair with good back support, or getting up to walk a few minutes each hour will also go a long way. In the case of cervicogenic headaches, stretching out the tight muscles and strengthening the weak/underused muscles is the best way to tackle the issue
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Headaches found to be coming from the cervical spine respond very well with conservative treatment. A multifaceted approach using a combination of manipulation, myofascial release, stretching, and strengthening exercises will provide the best results. Breathing patterns must also be addressed because it has an impact on everything we do in our daily life.
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There are a variety of reasons cervicogenic headaches arise. They can begin shortly after some traumatic event such as a fall or following a whiplash injury like a car accident. However, more commonly these headaches develop over time from repetitive neck movements, prolonged poor posture, decreased cervical muscle strength, or osteoarthritis. The workplace is a major contributor, especially with jobs that require sitting at a desk or computer, frequent heavy lifting, or repetitive head movements.
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Almost everyone will deal with a headache at some point, making them a very common health complaint. In fact, almost half of the population is affected by headaches. They can range from a minor nuisance to severe and debilitating that impacts daily life. The 3 most common types of headaches are tension-type, migraines, and cluster headaches. Cervicogenic headaches fall within the tension-type group, which will be the focus of this series.
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